NBA Metrics 101: Where Do 2016-17 Warriors Rank Among All-Time Greatest Teams? – Bleacher Report

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    Regular-Season Team Rating: 105.65

    Postseason Team Rating: 106.68*

    Regular-Season Record: 66-16

    Postseason Results: 4-1 victory over San Francisco Warriors, 4-1 victory over Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0 victory over Baltimore Bullets

    Though the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks are rarely billed as one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the numbers all back up that type of status. 

    They won 66 games during the regular season, then advanced through the playoffs with only two losses en route to a championship. Though the Los Angeles Lakers broke that mark one year later with three additional regular-season victories, that was—at the time—the second-most successful a team had ever been, behind only the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers (68-13).

    Digging deeper shows these Bucks should’ve had even fewer losses. 

    Pythagorean wins, which are based solely on points scored and allowed, indicates their deserved record was 67-16. And since they paced the Association in offensive rating (3.4 points per 100 possessions clear of the field) and defensive rating (0.2 points per 100 possessions better than anyone else), it shouldn’t be surprising that their Team Rating during the regular season remains one of the three best marks in the annals. 

    Also making the success less surprising is the overwhelming strength of the roster.

    Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was a dominant sophomore, while Oscar Robertson played the part of veteran leader and All-Star during the tail end of his career. And the talent didn’t stop there, given the presences of Bob Dandridge, Jon McGlocklin, Greg Smith, Bob Boozer and Lucius Allen—all notable names during the 1970s. Fewer teams have ever been so deep, especially when compared to the relative depth of the era in which they played. 

    Note: Postseason advanced metrics only date back to 1974, so the Bucks’ postseason Team Rating is estimated. It was calculated proportionally by using margins of victory and regular-season Team Rating. 

    Adam Fromal covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @fromal09.

    Unless otherwise indicated, all stats from Basketball Reference,, or NBA Math.


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